Percy Ingle Bakeries began migrating from cash registers to electronic point of sale (EPoS) three years ago. But the 50-shop group did not get the required returns and its project to roll it out across the London and Essex estate stalled two years later.Following this, EPOS Group installed bakery shop-specific Quantum EPoS in an initial eight of Percy Ingle’s sites and the chain prepared a tender for software and hardware across the rest of the estate. EPOS Group won the contract to supply Quantum running on PC-based touch-screen terminals from J2 Retail Systems. And Quantum, tightly integrated with RedBlack Software’s CyBake Touch (see below), has enabled Percy Ingle’s bakers to manage production volumes based on historical sales performance. The new configuration has been rolled out and a rapid return on investment is anticipated.Affordable and easy to useNowadays, anyone should be able to use EPoS, because modern solutions are “affordable, scaleable and easy to use”, says Trevor Claybrough, director of UK-based EPoS software company AlfaRichi. The total cost should not be more than £500, including a receipt printer and cash draw, along with tablet computer and monthly software plan, he says.Claybrough explains that modern systems have a web-based back office, so there is no need for a dedicated back office computer or server, no expensive information technology maintenance costs and no worries about backing up data because the company that provides the EPoS does that. “The back office is accessed from any computer using a web browser, and sales data from all shops is available in real time,” he says.EPOS Group points out that technological developments have meant that smaller retailers can benefit from the sort of advantages larger multiples have traditionally enjoyed. Steve Boyes, managing director, says: “The key is that customer-built and expensive grand technical solutions have been replaced by specialist companies working closely together, with each delivering part of the puzzle that make an off-the-shelf solution.”Richard Heitmann, head of UK sales at J2 Retail Systems, says low total cost of ownership is critical, noting that retailers increasingly take into account life-cycle costs, including reliability and serviceability when investing in new EPoS. This can amount to three to five times the initial investment, Heitmann estimates. That is why, says the company, it has introduced innovations that significantly drive down life-cycle costs. J2 has launched the J2 680, which Heitmann describes as “the most powerful touchscreen EPoS ever made”. He redefines what retail bakers can expect from EPoS by processing massive product databases quickly and with an ability to run the most demanding point-of-sale applications.AlfaRichi says its Android PoS solution includes AlfaPoint front end and AlfaLine web-based back end. These come with, for example, data storage and online access to data using a web browser, scaleability and compatibility, real-time control over any part of the business from a single shop to more than 100, staff management, sales and profits report, price management, discounts and promotions, ordering, deliveries and invoicing.Linked by TouchRedBlack Software’s CyBake Touch stand-alone solution, runs on EPoS tills to provide a link between head office and bakers’ retail outlets via the internet. It is designed to reduce waste and increase shop profits by improving ordering quality and reducing time spent on daily ordering routines. Martin Coyle, sales manager, explains that the automatic ordering system replaces the need for dedicated office staff to take phone orders from multiple branches. “It’s a leap of faith to take that away from a manual job and let a computer do it all for them.” But when people try it, they say they reduce waste, save time and increase profits, he says.
To recommend a code of conduct for scientists and laboratory workers that can be adopted by federal agencies, professional organizations, and institutions Mar 4, 2004, CIDRAP News story “New board to advise on ‘dual use’ research, announces HHS” Jul 1, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – The members of a new government board that will guide efforts to keep terrorists from exploiting the fruits of federally funded biotechnology research were announced this week by Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt. “The implications for the tremendous good that can be accomplished in this line of research are mind-boggling,” he said. “At the same time, the potential misapplication of this kind of research is frightening. So we have to be very careful not to throw the baby out with the bath water. We need this type of research. Therefore we must find every way we possibly can to prevent someone from using it for terrorism purposes.” Today’s session included a discussion on the chemical synthesis of bacteria and viruses, with J. Craig Venter, PhD, and other leaders in the field. Venter, founder of J. Craig Venter Institute, talked about the widespread availability of technology for synthesizing microbial DNA. “There are well over 50,000 DNA synthesizers in the world,” he commented at one point, adding that he had seen several for sale on eBay for about $5,000. To develop criteria for identifying “dual use” research—legitimate research whose results could be misused for biological warfare or bioterrorism The board will also be asked to advise the government on guidelines for publishing information about potentially sensitive research, biosecurity education programs for scientists and lab workers, local review and approval processes for dual-use research, and other issues. Venter and other speakers said that unscrupulous researchers could synthesize pathogenic bacteria or viruses and that detecting and stopping such efforts would be very difficult. He advocated focusing efforts on developing medical defenses against such pathogens. HHS officials first announced plans to establish the NSABB in March 2004. The estimated annual cost of operating the board is about $976,000, according to information on the Web site. Leavitt appointed Dennis L. Kasper, MD, of Harvard Medical School to chair the board. Kasper is director of the Channing Laboratory in the department of medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. As examples of the potential benefits of “synthetic biology,” Osterholm said Venter described a project to develop bacteria that could remove carbon dioxide from the air and thus combat global warming. Venter is also working on bacteria that would produce pure hydrogen, which “could dramatically change our status as a petroleum-based economy,” Osterholm added. Jun 29 HHS news release with list of NSABB membershttp://archive.hhs.gov/news/press/2005pres/20050629.html In naming 24 people to the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB), Leavitt said in a news release, “We all realize some research that results in new medical treatments, agricultural advances, and biodefense countermeasures could end up in the hands of terrorists who could twist it for their own purposes. The NSABB will provide a forum to help educate scientists on biosecurity and a means for the federal government to receive advice on how to advance scientific knowledge without compromising security.” Announcement of the members was the prelude to the board’s first meeting, held yesterday and today in Bethesda, Md. The meeting was open to the public and was also accessible over the Internet as a live webcast. Osterholm commented after the meeting that the presentations on chemical synthesis of new microbes showed that the field has huge potential for both good and ill. The National Research Council called for creation of a board like the NSABB in its 2003 report, titled “Biotechnology Research in an Age of Terrorism: Confronting the Dual Use Dilemma.” As established, the board is somewhat different from what that report recommended, but it is intended to achieve the same goals, according to information on the board’s Web site. NSABB sitehttp://www.biosecurityboard.gov/ “If we’re not concentrating almost 100% of our efforts on providing defensive countermeasures, we’re missing the big picture here,” Venter said. “Any viral agent can be produced. We should just assume that’s possible and make sure that we have good vaccines and good vaccine development procedures to work against them.” The board is composed mostly of academic researchers but includes several private consultants, one attorney, and the head of the vaccine department at a large pharmaceutical company, Merck & Co. Among the members is Michael T. Osterholm, PhD, MPH, director of the University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP), publisher of this Web site. See also: The board’s main tasks, according to information on the NSABB Web site, are: The board will not have authority to approve or reject specific experiments. But it will, on request, provide guidance to local “institutional biosafety committees” on specific experiments or classes of research that raise complex questions. To develop guidelines for overseeing dual-use research Oct 10, 2003, CIDRAP News story “To block terrorists, panel calls for more screening of research
…but free to play in Boxing Day Test(REUTERS) – South Africa captain Faf du Plessis has lost his appeal against a ball-tampering conviction, but will be free to play in the first Test against Sri Lanka starting on Boxing Day.Du Plessis was found guilty by match referee Andy Pycroft of changing the condition of the ball after appearing to use saliva tainted by a mint in his mouth to shine it during the second test against Australia in Hobart last month. South Africa won the test and the series 2-1, but the victory was overshadowed by what Du Plessis felt was an unjust targeting of him.The skipper was fined his entire match fee and had three demerit points added to his record.If a player accumulates four-to-seven demerit points within a two-year period they are converted into two suspension points, which brings a ban for one Test or two one-day internationals or Twenty20s.Du Plessis appealed against his punishment on Monday, questioning whether his actions changed the condition of the ball at all.The Chair of the ICC’s Code of Conduct Commission, Michael Beloff, upheld the verdict, but stopped short of increasing the sanction to an automatic one-match ban which would have been within his remit.International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive officer Dave Richardson welcomed the decision.“It is the duty of the ICC to ensure fair play on the cricket field,” he said in a statement yesterdayy.“Although it was not picked up by the umpires at the time, when the incident came to our attention subsequently, we felt it was our responsibility to lay a charge in this case because the ICC can’t let such an obvious breach of this Law pass without taking any action.“We are pleased that both the match referee and Mr Beloff QC have agreed with our interpretation of the Laws and hope that this serves as a deterrent to all players not to engage in this sort of unfair practise in the future.”Du Plessis, 32, was last week confirmed as South Africa’s new permanent captain after AB de Villiers resigned having missed three test series in a row due to an elbow injury.Cricket South Africa (CSA) accepted the decision.“We are satisfied with the matter being given due consideration,” it said.